Our alternative

Court in session. Photo Mark Harvey/ID8 Photography

Everyone should have access to justice – it is a basic human right. The Speak Up for Justice Campaign wants a justice system that is run in the interests of citizens and not in the interests of a few large profit-making companies.

Our vision:

Government reforms:

Justice should be delivered as a not-for-profit public service run in the interests of local communities and the wider public. The government plans to outsource 70% of the probation service, and privatise some policing and prison services. This will remove services from local democratic accountability and place them in hands of remote multinational companies.
An integrated justice system enables public bodies including policing, prisons, courts and probation to work together to deliver justice more effectively. Probation is being broken up and centralised as part of the outsourcing process. Some prison and policing services will become discreet contract packages when services are privatised.
 Access to legal aid should be based on need, and there should be sufficient budget to ensure access to justice for all.  Legal aid reforms and cuts to the budget are already denying people access to justice.
 Reforms to the justice system should protect public safety and are best developed and delivered in consultation with those who use the system, professionals, trade unions, and voluntary sector organisations.  Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, has been warned that his reforms to probation potentially put public safety at risk. Reforms to the justice system have been top down with no meaningful consultation.
 Transparency and accountability should remain central to protecting the integrity of our justice system.  Evidence shows that privatisation of public services leads to decreased transparency and an increased lack of accountability.
 We should have access to justice locally through publicly provided policing, courts, probation and prison services.  Over 130 courts have closed, neighbourhood policing has been reduced, probation reforms will centralise services, fine enforcement is being privatised and prisons are closing.
The effective delivery of justice requires adequate funding and sufficient numbers of highly trained staff who have decent jobs. Justice services are facing cuts of up to 25% of their budgets, and by 2015 around 51,000 justice sector jobs will have been lost. Cases are already delayed, rehabilitation programmes delayed or cut, and some police forces are advertising for volunteers.

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Justice is under attack

The government is fragmenting the justice system, privatising policing, probation and prison services, closing courts, slashing the legal aid budget and making drastic cuts to funding. This will undermine the system, reduce access to justice and put public safety at risk.

Find out more

The attack on justice: Slideshow
View our animated presentation - The Attack on Justice: Voices from the front line.